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Ancestral Songs

Darrin Martin


Video installation, stereoscopic viewers

Exploring the notion of immersive realities as both a shared and individualized experience, Ancestral Songs projects expansive pastoral scenes, while handheld viewers display interior spaces in 3D stereoscopy. In each scene, hands enter the frame holding hearing aids left behind from departed ancestors. They are cupped using a variety of techniques to initiate audible feedback. The large projections are silent, though the scenes are closed captioned to describe the sounds. Audio issues from the stereoscopic viewers and bleeds throughout the installation. The work activates an inversion of assistive listening devices as they are used to emanate sound in ponderance of—and in defiance to—the ways in which those with deafness can become silent participants in a hearing world. 


A large video projects against the length of a white wall, showing a man's hand outstretched, holding a hearing aid in his palm. A leafy-green forest forms the backdrop, and on the lower right side of the projection are yellow subtitles that read, "The soft patter of the drizzle engages the shuddering shriek." Two white benches sit in the foreground, and several bespoke wood and metal stereoscopic viewers dangle down from the ceiling directly above. Image credit: Richard Lomibao.

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Facing forward, three exhibitiongoers - a man in jeans and a puffy black vest, a bearded man with dark hair, jeans and a brown leather jacket, and a blonde woman with a patterned grey dress, a long black cardigan and a black scarf -  each hold a wooden stereoscopic viewer to their eyes. A thin wire travels from each viewer to the ceiling. Image credit: Richard Lomibao.


Two exhibition-goers against a lush pastoral backdrop projected against the wall. On the right, a person with short, dark hair, a black jacket and dark jeans lifts a stereoscopic viewer to his eyes. On the left, a person with long dark hair, wearing black rimmed glasses, a long dark grey jacket and black pants, sits in a wheelchair and reaches for another viewer. Between them, a stereoscopic viewer hangs suspended in the air. Image credit: Richard Lomibao.

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